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New funding to plan fisheries management

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Fisheries

15 May 2006 Pre-Budget Announcement

New funding to plan fisheries management

The Government is providing an additional $8.2m over the next four years to improve the management of New Zealand’s fisheries resources and protection of the marine environment.

“New Zealand’s vast Exclusive Economic Zone is an exceptionally valuable resource that provides significant export earnings. It is vital that the Government works in partnership with the fishing industry to ensure we safeguard this resource from over exploitation and continue to increase the contribution fishing makes to the domestic economy,” said Jim Anderton.

The Government is setting aside $5.3m over the next four years for the development of an objectives based approach to fisheries management.

“This new approach involves the development of ‘fisheries plans’. The Government will work with industry and other stakeholders to identify how to get the best value from particular fish stocks and to plan the management of those stocks over the long-term. This stands in contrast to the past practice of managing fish stocks year-to-year in an ad hoc manner. Developing fisheries plans within Government-set environmental standards will help us to better secure the sustainability of fish stocks and provide greater investment certainty for the fishing industry,” said Jim Anderton.

$2.0m has also been provided for the implementation of the Marine Protected Areas Strategy over the next four years.

“This is a further move away from ad hoc planning of marine protection, which in the past created uncertainty and anxiety among many coastal communities. The Government’s Marine Protected Areas Strategy aims to examine all of New Zealand’s waters region by region to plan appropriate marine protection, working with communities to ensure local views are taken into account,” said Jim Anderton.

A further $580,000 is to be spent over the next four years on research into the effects of fishing practices on marine ecosystems, including bottom trawling on benthic environments.

“We need to know more about what happens below the surface of the ocean when our fishing fleet operates in sensitive environments. Better information on the impacts of fishing will allow the Government to identify the limits to acceptable modification of the marine environment by fishing and reduce any adverse impacts as envisioned in the Government’s Strategy for Managing the Environmental Effects of Fishing. In the long run, this will provide greater certainty to the fishing industry,” said Jim Anderton.

As previously announced $325,000 has been allocated to support the initiatives of the international, Ministerially-led Taskforce on Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing.

Jim Anderton also announced additional assistance to enable the Ministry of Fisheries to support the Government policy objectives of having all Treaty settlement negotiations completed by 2020. $600,000 is provided in Budget 2006. To ensure that it can participate effectively in the settlement process, the Ministry will contribute a further $769,000 from its existing budget.

The Minister assured stakeholders that the Ministry would be consulting with them on these new services prior to their implementation. The consultation will take place over the next few weeks.


ENDS

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